No one needs to tell the Patriots the value of the No. 32 overall pick in the NFL Draft. Since the league expanded to 32 teams for the 2002 season, New England’s taken the two best pros from that last-in-the-first-round spot, nabbing the recently retired Ben Watson (2004) and 11-year guard Logan Mankins (2005) in back-to-back years. In the last year of the 31-team league, San Diego took Drew Brees in the No. 32 spot. (Also a notable 32nd pick: Local legend Fred Smerlas, to Buffalo in 1979 out of Boston College.)
The mock draft industry is ever growing, and there’s no shortage of ones believing the Patriots — well stocked in the later rounds and frequently willing to add picks in the future — will deal their first-round selection to a team eager to select a quarterback.